Philosophical Inquiries

An Introduction to Problems of Philosophy

Past praise for Nicholas Rescher

"Nicholas Rescher continues to be an American philosophical treasure. His latest work, Ignorance, is a wide-ranging but thorough-indeed, exhaustive-analysis of the varieties of ignorance and the implications thereof. It will be required reading for everyone concerned with understanding the anatomy of knowledge."

George Gale, University of Missouri-Kansas City on Ignorance (On the Wider Implications of Deficient Knowledge)

In Philosophical Inquiries, Nicholas Rescher offers his perspectives on many of the foundational concerns of philosophy and reminds us that the purpose of philosophy is to “question the questions.” Rescher sees the need to inquire as an evolutionary tool for adapting to a hostile environment and shows how philosophy has thus developed in an evolutionary fashion, building upon acquired knowledge and upon itself. In a historical thread that informs and enriches his overview, Rescher recalls the contributions of Aristotle, Plato, Plotinus, Kant, Hegel, Leibniz, Laplace, Bertrand Russell, and others.

Among his many topics, Rescher discusses knowledge and the unattainablity of absolutes, skepticism and its self-defeating nature, the limits of science vs. the limits of cognition, refuting reality as mind-independent, and idealism and divining our role in nature. He considers the universe and intelligence as the product of intelligent design, science and religion as non-conflicting and purposeful pursuits, and determinism and other fallacies surrounding the concept of free will. Rescher views morality in its hierarchal structure, its applicability to human coexistence, and its ontological commitment to the enhancement of value for ourselves and our world. He examines questions of authority and the problem of judging past actions or knowledge by present standards. Overall, he argues for philosophy as an unavoidable tool for rational, cogent responses to large questions.

200 Pages, 6 x 9 in.

May, 2010

isbn : 9780822960751

about the author

Nicholas Rescher

Nicholas Rescher is Distinguished University Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh and co-chairman of the Center for Philosophy of Science. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he has served as president of the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association, the Leibniz Society of North America, the Charles S. Peirce Society, the American Catholic Philosophical Association, and the Metaphysical Society of America. Rescher is the author or editor of more than one hundred books, including Ignorance (On the Wider Implications of Deficient Knowledge), Philosophical Inquiries: An Introduction to Problems of Philosophy, and A Journey through Philosophy in 101 Anecdotes.

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Nicholas Rescher